Archive for June, 2011

June 30, 2011

From Adorable to Horrible.

by Khanum

 I say, its a near death experience to have a photoshoot with toddlers. Let me elaborate why. Once upon a time (actually just a month ago), I was asked to hold a photo session of someone’s little princess. *meerab* A very charming little girl  *who is toddling her way beside me at this very moment* with brat-listic- mannerisms. And the second I typed her definition just now – she ogled me with her mouth opened.  Adorable. But she has her moments. Tantrums. & well Horrible sides.

I cannot believe, a photographer like me was insulted by a brat like that, once again. the former horrible object was Ibrahim. Here’s my *Iktabas* about him. That 4 years old man isn’t a good memory to keep, but I remember him in these words.

from my Diary – 2010. “Being a post grad totally sucks when you don’t have anything, JUST anything to do. Your family treats you as a ‘Massi’ of the house, your friends go underground and God knows what they do. Hybernate or what!!! And to top it all, relatives keep oozing out of nowhere asking favors excruciating to death.
‘Oh dear, can you please come up and take a few photographs of my grandson?’ Auntie Talat tried her elderly charms. ‘He’s just adorable…just a few pictures that’s all. He’s the apple of my eye you’ll love him. ’
Love him, my ^^^. The boy gave me asthma. And I don’t care even if he were her watermelon or mango of her eyeball. I would have given him a good beat on his diapered bottom if I could.
I ran after him like a lunatic for an entire hour.
‘Ibrahimmmm….see here. let me take a good picture’
‘Nooooooo ibrahim…don’t snatch my camera.’
‘Bad boy Ibrahim…….stop peeing on me you rascal’!!!!
Oh I hate 21st century Boys!!!”

 And Here Her mood has started to grow hot-hot-horrible!

And ladies & gentleman , here she didn’t even notice that I exist , holding a camera.

Thank You very Much.

June 26, 2011

Happy La Cake!

by Khanum

 And I don’t know what the title means. It sounded nice, so I made it up.

But on the non-joking side: The true title of this post should be.

” The Secret Ingredient (no longer a secret) & The Great-facto Reasons why a Woman Bakes”.


The secret Ingredient of this Great cake ever made by ME is “I made it with faith and not by the book rules”. Which became my miracle. I had no oven to begin with , you see.  Whatever I had was ‘secret ingredient’.


2 cups of bla bla bla, 1 cup of more bla bla bla and 1 cup of that bla bla blah. You know the usual ingredients. Sugar, butter (ghee in most cases), white flour and eggs. Milk if required etc etc. So let’s skip the ordinary things.

Coming towards the mind boggling experimental things. I always make a cake without any measured ingredients.Fussing over exact measures ,  kills the chances of ‘following your instincts in kitchen’ and ala ka scram awesome surprises. (Again I have no clue what ala ka scram means, please pardon)

I mixed the basics, placed the mixture into the steel bowl and then did the daring part. We have a utensil called ‘Tawa’ with holes in it. I don’t know what they call it in English or even if it exists in other parts of the world except in Asia. But to give u an idea, its like a frying pan. But without any steel walls. We Asians make ‘Roti aka Chappati’ over it. Please Google.

My ‘Tawwa’ has holes in it for special reasons. We use it for specific dishes which requires certain special heating in order to cook properly. The holes allow the item placed upon it to have slow and nice heat and not direct and harsh.

I used another utensil, i.e. a cooking pot made of steel, pour 3 cups of water in it and let it warm up on slow heat over the ‘Tawwa’. When the water was slightly warm, I placed the bowl which had cake mixture in it , inside the cooking pot right in the middle. It looked like a round Titanic. Except that it didn’t drown. Make sure you don’t over flow the pot. If the water evaporates, you can always put more but don’t do it before hand. I Covered the cooking pot with the lid and waited for like eternity to have it baked.

At first I was sure I had failed. But as the time passed, the slow and soft heat did its magic. And voala!!! After 2 hours and about 30 minutes, my cake was ready.

The Decoration:

This again is a proof that I grew up watching BBC Food. I create, present and Shoot. 

Its very simple and easy. All you need is a creative mind and the heart to put some effort into things you do for the sake of good photography.

1 – The cream I used on cake is borrowed from the Puff Cakes a guest had brought earlier. It’s texture was very soft and light. And it also saved me the headache to spend money on fine cream.

2- The red spots which are giving the look as if its ice cream is a very famous drink in Pakistan. “Jam-e-shireen’. I sprinkled the sweet liquid over the cake with spoon and within minutes it was soaked by the great cream and cake. (I tried to make the pattern of a butterfly but it got wrecked)

3- The tiny colorful balls or whatever it is, was the only cake decoration item I had in store. Thanks to my Cousin Brother who bought me its jar when I bugged him at the super store.

4- And finally the last kick. Beautiful plastic butterfly on top of the cake. I swear, I would have adjusted even a pretty earring over it, if I had to.

And now the Great  7  Reasons why a Woman Bakes.

7- She’s a baker, ofcourse!

6- She’s definitely a wife of a baker. Fsh!

5- She wants to please her mother in law. So typical.

4- She just got fed up with her boring diet. Or better, she’s determined to make others fat.

3- She loves to Bake, Honestly. And it’s her happy medium.

2- She’s upset. Needs to relax.

1- And finally: Yup! Heartbroken.

As for me, I bake a cake after ages, and once I start, I keep doing it to stay happy and focused. And this cake was made because of Sam soon.  I was inspired by the Heroine of my Korean drama, who happened to be a Baker. Then I thought of my blogging adventures  and here I landed.

Ah..The Things I do for WordPress.

Anywho,  Happy La Cake Everyone! 🙂

And Once again I have no idea what this means.

June 18, 2011

Third Eye Competition ! Get Your Cameras Ready Photographers!

by Khanum

It’s fun. It’s exciting & it’s one of the dynamic things my word press buddies, especially Nadia loves to do.  And since none of you could come up with an event as such, I decided to take the reins in my own hands and Go Yahoo!

Or Yeeha, whatever it is!

If you have the love to photograph, heart to display your work and mind to bet on it, why not go for a healthy competition among photography lovers?!

Don’t think twice, just Sign up for this competition.

Grab your cameras, challenge yourself. Aim, Frame and  Shoot!

Themes for the photography are divided into 4 categories. Each participant must submit 1 best shot in at least 2 categories. Maximum number is 4. If you don’t want to go for more than 2 themes, It’s alright. Just make sure you choose your two categories well.

In case the participant fails to submit his photograph for his second theme, his previous submission for the first category would be automatically cancelled.

The Themes/Categories are:

1)  Product Photography

2)  Third Eye

3)  Nothing & Everything

4) I love to Photograph

Now before you get confused, which I am sure you already are, let me elaborate the ideas.

In the first category, you are supposed to photograph a product, may it be a milk bottle, canon camera or even a mug of coffee. Your aim would be to perform the best product photography ever. If The picture sells well, so will the product. Got it?

In 2nd Category, The theme is ‘Third Eye’. It’s about being creative. It’s about Your imagination. Set an environment, give the parrot, rainbow wings.. It’s upto you. The photograph must have the element of creativity.

The last category is definitely the most anticipated one by me. It’s about photography above your own level. The theme is combining the two opposites, ‘Nothing & Everything’ together. Your photograph must convey both the meanings in one single shot. It’s not like they don’t have something in common. the word ‘thing’ is what makes them a couple. Only the most daring one would think choosing this option.

4th category is really very simple. Just submit your best shot of anything.

Display details: Once you submit your shots and the contest day arrives, your pictures would be displayed on this blog. You can then let your friends have the link to the page and ask them to comment on the pictures. The more you spread the word about contest, the more they get to know your work.

Judgement Criteria: 10% marks for Viewer’s likes. 10% marks from my side. 10% marks on the Caption and remaining 70%, the entire chunk for your Talent at photography.

So there we go! All the best!!!

Sign up deadline: 30th June, 2011.

Shot Submission Deadline with your Bio:    (Final Date yet to be decided. Tentative date: 6th July)

And now, few Rules & Regulations.

– your pictures must not contain any nude content. (Baby pictures are exception)

– It would be better not to go for fashion shots. Though portraits are eligible.

– No alcohol must be spilled on my blog. thank You very much.

– Anyone, even without a blogger Id can enter this Online competition, no age limit.

– This contest is mandatory for my blogger friends.

Prizes: The more wins you get , the more award you bag. And and personal Gift from my side as well. (Insha Allah)

For any further inquiry, email me at or simply leave your comment below. Thank You.

June 17, 2011

~ Golden Diary of my Arabian Days & Nights ~ Page 1

by Khanum

The story of it  goes somewhere deeper.

Red fine prayer rug, with golden gleaming borders. This is the first reflection that comes to my mind whenever and where ever I think about the journey I made in 2007.

It was the kingdom of Saudia Arabia. The land of the Arabs. With days as warm as the sun and the nights as soothing as the moon and silver. Where neither the earth is fertile, nor the sky is kind to pour down water. But prosperity and wealth still manages to grow stronger and stronger.

In such land of strange wonders and marvels, I lost my heart to a prayer rug.

A shop, the most beautiful and most cultured, and a brown complexion owner, the most unkind and totally opposite in comparison – somehow reserve a special place in my memories.

The background of the shop , the bazaar I walked for days and nights, not less than 5 times a day are also the same vivid collection in my remembrance but the next immediate sketch that my mind always draws with its memory.. is again always associated with that prayer rug.

Lament and compunction…

We had a villain standing between me and my lovely rug…My mother, the budget police and that seller: the unkind fellow as I have already mentioned.

Remorse was: I couldn’t buy that pretty rug that still shines in my head, seldom.

Didn’t I tell you people, the story of it goes somewhere way deeper?!

I felt tranquility in that moment. I heard the man say words I could not comprehend, but it didn’t matter. The rug was the lone centre of my attention. My eyes feasted over its magnificence, the hands felt its softness. It chanted to me words one could never listen. It made me smile and wonder like no other.

Such shop and such prayer mat are hard to encounter, so they are welcome to live in my memory as long as I be in this world.

I like to imagine I will go back one day. Free it from that seller’s possession. I picture my out-of-reach happy ending with it like that every so often.

Me…holding that prayer rug…praying upon it.

My Red fine prayer mat…with golden gleaming borders.

June 16, 2011

Lunar Eclipse seen through my camera Lens from Pakistan

by Khanum

Its after 12 AM in Pakistan. The lunar eclipse of 2011 is still hovering over us. I took pictures of the most anticipated lunar show tonight. Long Live my Mighty Camera!

And Here is the Last image my camera could process. The light is almost dim now. Only a shadow remains – that too , fading away slowly.

June 11, 2011

From East to West – Complicated Future Plans

by Khanum

I wonder if Ibn e Batuta had facebook networking back then while travelling. What would he had written on his status update each minute?

09:30 AM: ‘Riding a camel now. Very slow. ‘

09:32 AM: “But me and my camel took alot of pictures with my iphone lately. Yay me, i must also use twitter!”

09:45 AM: “Oh shoot! I just bumped into the Maharajah of Hindustan.”

09:46 AM: ” Hehehe, the dude has so many wives.”

09:47 AM: “Control plus Z – control plus Z – I never said anything about any of his wife. Control plus Z . Allahu Akber”

Getting the picture of his travels now ? . I am glad he had no Facebook for sure. It would have been a disaster. 🙂

But anyway, getting back to the main point: My Travel Plans.

Someone said, The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.  If this is so, I definitely don’t wanna be stuck at just the beginning, ‘Table of Contents’ sheet.

I wish there were no borders, no passport system, no visa requirements and particularly no discrimination against Pakistanis when it came to TRAVELING for the sake of cultural education. And if so, at least there should be 50% discount on all airplane tickets for students. Just suggesting.

If there were such facilities, travel would have been a blessing affordable for each person. I mean, imagine the travels of the people gone by. Ibn e Batuta For instance.  The dude to travel the world without any passport or visa hurdles was indeed very lucky. But where he had the advantage of being born in an era with no non-sense flying expenses , he had a pretty huge disadvantage too.

The great CAMERA wasn’t with him during his adventures.  And Here we have the most expensive cameras with us all the time. But sadly, no money to buy the return tickets. So some of us work hard day and night, earn money to bear the expenses and then finally a day comes to fly away. But my question is, what about the very common  commoner? The type who has the Extreme passion but whatever he does, he cannot afford the luxury of travel even outside his city.He might try the Hitch Hike across Sahara Desert thing. But thanks to the insecure national border situations, that adventure is now also dumped. Then What about him ? … Will his travel plans remain limited only to his imagination…? .. I just wonder.

June 7, 2011

Suck at Drawing? Yet, Go Creative!

by Khanum

Every photographer goes through his phase. All the objects in the sight seem boring. If you’re honest to your work,  You may feel you’re useless.

Or in my case, I have been capturing alot of faces lately that I feel I should kill myself before I’m requested to take another shot of a human face. It’s monotonous , It’s tiring. And most of all, its equal to halting your creative side.But that is what they demand when you’re employed by  people who don’t understand a thing about ‘Creativity’. It’s always about traditional productivity  and how much work you have done. rather than How creative you have been. So its like Creativity vs Usual Productivity thing in every artist’s life. But what if you want to be both? It’s not about Can you or Can you not – It’s about, will they allow you to be ?

No. They will never do such sane thing. It’s a death for their business and most importantly, A hurt on their ego.

So the only refuge you can avail is through your own determination & imagination. Make use of whatever time you have. No matter where you are, if you’re given even a minute to be yourself, TAKE IT AND RUN!

And please, have faith in yourself. Take the leap of faith and go for your thing. There are many crossroads and many mountains in your way. Don’t worry.  Be proud and confident about your creative side.

Here’s What I would recommend doing, if you’re tired of traditional capturing.

I had no object to shoot today, plus our Head  has also left for Turkey this morning which means No Boss to boss around for a month. This should have been a Good news to me. Instead i felt more dull. Why? Ah – I have already mentioned, I am tired of Traditional photo shoots.

But I had to do something. This is what i came up with.

Please don’t laugh – Or consider your self killed.

I borrowed a blank sheet from the office, borrowed crayons from the Art Head and went ahead with whatever came to my mind for the post on my blog yesterday and even today. “How Many Languages can You Speak”.

Although I suck at drawing, calligraphy is perhaps my only talent when it comes to drawing lines. However, thanks to Technology, there are many ways to be creative. Only when I was satisfied with my toddler drawing, I clicked the camera and transfered it to computer.
Some of the Photoshop and magic on Picasa Software.
And WOALA! there we had a abstract piece, my own creation. At least I used my time being creative.


Why walk the one and only traditional road? Why not make your own route?